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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Enviro-policies - "Unless it hurts it ain't working"

And after Kyoto, we return to energy rationing:

The unpalatable truth is that unless it hurts it ain't working. This week's hefty price increases for gas and electricity are the kind of thing that by 2010 could be commonplace. The era of affordable energy is drawing to a close and lifestyles built on its cheap abundance will have to be painfully adjusted. Take the simple matter of kitchen lighting (a subject of which I've had to grasp a sketchy knowledge in the past few weeks); while our parents would have happily had a single light bulb, Ikea sells halogen spots in packs of three and before you know it, the kitchen is a glowing festival, courtesy of nearly a dozen lights.
My kitchen isn't exactly a glowing festival, but I'm not sure I or my wife would be satisfied slaving over supper with a single dingy bulb in the kitchen. But, moving on to more tips for low-carbon living:
Don't boil your kettle so often; turn the heating down in the winter and wear woolly jumpers instead; use those dim, energy-efficient lightbulbs; recycle as much as you can, and take fewer showers. It sounds impossibly worthy, and rather smelly.
Makes one yearn for the smell of a coal-fired power plant, actually. But how about your own government-granted carbon ration?
Hillman's preoccupation is to get individuals to take personal responsibility for global warming and he provides formulae by which individuals can calculate their own carbon consumption. That takes him to the idea of personal carbon rations; every service or product we purchase would require not only a swipe of our debit card but also of our carbon card so that the carbon impact of our consumption is deducted.
Shower rationing, sounds like a winning idea to me.

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on August 26, 2004 in Science | Permalink

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Comments

If his parents, and everyone elses, were so "happy" with the single bulb, why did everyone jump at the chance to purchase Ikea's wider selection?

I remember similar advice being doled out during the Carter Administration. For those not old enough to recall: he only served one term...

Ah yes, to imitate that glamorous couple Archie and Edith Bunker once more, slouching around their drafty house in raggedy cardigans, at the behest of nagging Meathead. Those were the days, indeed.

Incidentally: is it really possible for British men to take even FEWER showers than they already do??

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle | 2004-08-26 12:48:38 PM


Ah yes, the good old days of being nagged by Carter and Meathead. Thanks for reminding me.

Posted by: Kevin Jaeger | 2004-08-26 1:20:54 PM


>while our parents would have happily had a single light bulb

They would have been happier with 12, a larger house, etc. The writer is confused that a state of affairs is necessarily one of complete satisfaction.

Conservation is a dead end. Start building fission plants and get on with making the future better.

Posted by: lrC | 2004-08-26 2:04:19 PM


>while our parents would have happily had a single light bulb

They would have been happier with 12, a larger house, etc. The writer is confused that a state of affairs is necessarily one of complete satisfaction.

Conservation is a dead end. Start building fission plants and get on with making the future better.

Posted by: lrC | 2004-08-26 2:05:51 PM


>while our parents would have happily had a single light bulb

Actually our parents (or grandparents) used kerosene lamps.

Anyone care to do an analysis on the energy efficiency of kerosene/cotton wick vs say, a dozen or twenty light bulbs?

Posted by: Kate | 2004-08-26 3:57:46 PM



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